Joaquin Arambula is back on the job representing California’s 31st Assembly District – which includes Reedley — after being acquitted last week of a misdemeanor chid abuse charge involving his 7-year-old daughter.

A jury spent less than a day deliberating on May 16 before finding the Fresno Democrat not guilty of abuse. The trial in Fresno County Superior Court had lasted nine days, and culminated a five-month legal battle for the assemblyman. Arambula was arrested in early December after officials at his daughter’s elementary school notified police after speaking with the girl.

The Fresno County District Attorney’s office filed charges of misdemeanor abuse in March. Arambula defending himself in media interviews shortly after his arrest, saying he only spanked his daughter on the buttocks. The DA’s office prosecuted the case, alleging Arambula caused a small bruise on the daughter’s temple. The daughter, other family members and law enforcement testified in the case.

Arambula thanked his family, his attorneys and the jury at a news conference after the verdict was announced.

“To the members of the jury, I appreciated your service,” he said. “I trusted in the system, and today my faith has been restored. Thank you for recognizing that I am a good father and did nothing to harm my daughter.”

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